EE teams up with AR company Nreal to launch smart glasses in the UK

Mobile operator EE has announced plans to bring augmented reality (AR) glasses to the UK that will allow wearers to stream movies over 5G, on the go, to a personal virtual screen. The network has teamed up with Chinese company AR Nreal to exclusively launch its Nreal Air glasses in the UK, which can be connected to a smartphone to stream video content and games.

Augmented reality consists of superimposing virtual objects or content on the real world. It’s becoming an increasingly popular technology through gadgets like smart glasses, but also through smartphone cameras and games like Pokemon Go.

The government predicted a 78% increase in augmented and virtual reality spending between 2019 and 2024, while EE said it found more than a third of people (35%) were interested in a way to make experiences on the big screen more mobile. The Nreal Air uses an in-glass OLED display that can be used to stream video that appears on a 201-inch Imax-sized virtual screen in front of the wearer.

The glasses can also be used to mirror the screen of a connected smartphone or explore augmented reality applications. The Air will go on sale through EE later in the spring, the network has confirmed, with full pricing and availability yet to be announced.

“We work with the world’s best content providers and most innovative technology companies to create entirely new experiences for our customers,” said EE Director of Devices and Partnerships, Alistair Wilson. “Nreal are at the forefront of AR, and we are delighted to be the exclusive UK partner for the launch of their new Nreal Air AR glasses. Combined with the power of 5G, it really opens up new possibilities for smooth and access to new types of content on the go – these are truly exciting times for mobile.

Nreal co-founder Peng Jin said the company was “excited” to come to the UK with EE.

“At Nreal, we are passionate about bringing AR into the everyday lives of consumers, which will spark game-changing transformation, just like the internet once did,” he said. “AR will transcend today’s mobile experience, especially when it comes to watching videos, exercising, and playing video games on PC and in the cloud. As we continue to enrich the ‘AR ecosystem with each update and upgrade, consumers will enjoy more innovations and stunning digital experiences integrated into everyday life.

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Luz W. German